Permanent Hair Reduction
What is Laser Hair reduction?
Laser hair reduction is a procedure which is used to reduce the growth of body hair, most commonly on the face, armpits, pubic region, chest, beard, back. It can also be done to reduce the growth of total body hair.
What is the mechanism used for laser hair removal?
Laser machines emit a particular kind of light which is absorbed by the hair and its pigment to cause damage of the hair follicles. The process of selective photothermolysis ensures that laser is absorbed by the particular hair follicle and not by the surrounding structures. There are different phases in the growth cycle of hair. The anagen phase is the one where the growth occurs and hair follicles in this phase are the most sensitive to the laser light. The laser light damages the hair follicle and the growth of the hair is hampered leading to a smooth hair free skin.
The best candidates for laser hair removal are the patients with light skin and dark hair. In this condition the skin pigments do not absorb the laser light or absorb to a minimal extent and hence damage to the skin is prevented. In darker skin types the risk of superficial damage to the skin is higher so caution is advised during the hair removal. With the newer machines it is possible to remove hair effectively in the darker skin types too.
The targetted area for hair removal is trimmed/shaved and a cooling gel is applied to the area to prevent heat injury from the laser light. Special devices with cooling tip may also be used in some centred to achieve the same.
Laser Hair Removal Procedure
During the procedure, laser pulses are intermittently targetted to the areas of hair growth, it delivers light energy, which travels through the skin and is absorbed by the hair follicles. The maximum melanin (hair pigment) is present in the anagen phase of the hair growth. Those hair follicles that absorb energy, or heat, from the laser will be damaged. Hairs that were present in the follicles at the time of treatment will fall out, and future hair growth will be impaired.
Since not all hairs are present in the same cycle, a single procedure will not treat all of the hair follicles in the area. As the follicles in the transitional and resting periods return to the active growth phase, you may notice some hair growth in the region. This is why multiple treatments are usually required to treat a single area completely.
Laser Hair Removal Recovery
After the procedure the area will remain red and irritated for a few hours. This redness may last upto two days.
After the procedure a topical cream will be applied to the skin. Sun protection is mandatory after the laser because the skin is much more sensitive to the sunlight after laser. Mild scabbing may be seen which should in the worst circumstances settle down in a week?s time.
Laser Hair Removal Results
You may notice some hair that appears on the surface of your skin within seven to ten days following treatment. These hairs are usually those that have fallen out of hair follicles impaired during treatment. However, you will notice some new hair growth within a few weeks, as hair follicles that were inactive during treatment re-enter the active growth phase. Therefore, you will most likely undergo multiple treatments spaced approximately four to eight weeks apart. Although the number of treatments varies by individual, most individuals receive approximately six to eight treatments.
The results from a laser hair removal procedure depend on your skin tone, your hair type, and the growth phase of the hair being treated. It is important to realize that laser hair removal will likely not prevent hair from growing completely. However, laser hair removal can reduce hair growth significantly over time giving your skin the smooth appearance that you desire.